Indian Navy’s rescue of MV Lila Norfolk in Arabian Sea boosts IMEC

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The navy experts are asserting that India has demonstrated its capability as a protector of the maritime security in the Indian Ocean as well as the Arabian Sea.

Rescue mission of MV Lila Norlfolk in Arabian Sea

Rescue mission of MV Lila Norlfolk in Arabian Sea

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By Manish Anand

New Delhi, January 6: A few days ago, Union Minister of Defence Rajnath Singh had said that “one who controls the sea is all powerful”. The Indian Navy proved him right by embarking on an audacious mission to send the warship INS Chennai to free the crew of MV Lila Norfolk in the Arabian Sea.

The World already admits that India is the protector of the Indian Ocean. But this is possibly the first occasion that the Indian Navy has gone far into the Arabian Sea to free a ship from the clutches of the Somalian pirates. The navy experts are asserting that India has demonstrated its capability as a protector of the maritime security in the Indian Ocean as well as the Arabian Sea.

It’s worthwhile to note that the Arabian Sea and the Indian Ocean are central to the global trade. Also, the ambitious India-Middle East-Europe-Economic Corridor (IMEC) which will link Mumbai with the Arabian countries with sea routes and thereafter the rail links will connect with the European countries will gain a major boost of confidence following the rescue mission of the INS Chennai.

It’s noteworthy to mention that India had recently commissioned another Visakhapatnam class warship the INS Imphal into the Indian Navy. Singh had said on the occasion that INS Imphal will play a crucial role in securing the maritime security in the Indo Pacific. Notably, the US is banking on India to safeguard the interests of the maritime trade in the Indo Pacific.

The Indian Navy spokesperson on Friday evening gave details of the successful rescue mission of the crew of the Liberia-registered MV Lila Norfolk which had come under the attack of the Somalian pirates. The INS Chennai was diverted for the rescue mission along with helicopters and drones while the elite MARCOs executed the sanitization of the ship in the high sea.

The spokesperson of the Indian Navy said that the pirates ran away after the Indian rescue mission approached the MV Lila Norfolk ship. The merchant ship was flagged by the pirates on the high sea infested by the Somalian pirates.

The INS Chennai was diverted from the anti-piracy patrol and intercepted MV Lila Norfolk in the afternoon of Friday. The rescue mission was backed by drones, as well as naval aircrafts. The Indian Navy said: “The MV Lila Norfolk was kept under continuous surveillance using MPA, Predator MQ9B and integral helos.”

The successful mission may become the template for the international cooperation for maritime security. After an Indian ship was attacked by drone in the Arabian Sea, an Israeli cargo also reportedly came under the drone attacks near Maldives this week. Besides, the Houthi rebels have disrupted the maritime trade by raining missiles on the cargo ship in the Red Sea.  

The naval experts are underlining that India may have to accelerate scaling up of its warship fleet amid the rising threat to the maritime security in the Arabian Sea. India has cordial relations with several of the Middle East countries with consequent rise in trade between the region and New Delhi.   

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